2017-2018 Player Profile: Zach McRoberts

  • 10/27/2017 9:19 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve transitioned from our look at other Big Ten programs to our player-by-player previews of the 2017-18 Indiana roster. Today, our profiles continue with a look at Zach McRoberts.

After sitting out the 2015-16 season from college basketball altogether, Zach McRoberts returned to the hardwood for the Hoosiers last winter.

“I would just watch the games on TV and listen to all of my friends talking about it,” McRoberts said in the summer of 2016. “And then just watching the (NCAA) tournament, that competitive spirit, you don’t get that anywhere else.”

The Carmel graduate, who originally signed with Vermont out of high school, joined the IU program as a walk-on last season. The 6-foot-6 forward produced modest statistics – 0.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 11.3 minutes per game – but those numbers don’t tell the full story of his impact.

On a team that struggled defensively, McRoberts was a bright spot. He would often come in off of the bench and provide a spark simply by being in the right place at the right time.

The former Indiana all-star played a bigger role than originally expected due to injuries to Collin Hartman and OG Anunoby. He ended up playing more minutes than four of IU’s scholarship players and also showed himself to be a capable passer. He finished the season with 29 assists and just eight turnovers.

As a junior, it’s unclear how McRoberts will figure into the rotation under IU’s new coaching staff. Archie Miller mentioned at media day that McRoberts, along with several others, had a “great” offseason.

His path to playing time this season appears to be a bit more daunting with the return of Hartman and the additions of Clifton Moore and Justin Smith, who will also be competing for frontcourt minutes.

McRoberts is a very capable defender, but is limited offensively and often passed up open shots last season, which allowed opposing defenses to key more on his teammates.

If he’s going to play regularly as a junior, he’ll need to become more comfortable in taking open looks when they arrive. Last season, he knocked down just four 3-pointers (on 12 attempts) and shot just 33.3 percent on 2s.

Bottom Line: Whether McRoberts again claims a rotation spot or is just used for spot minutes because of his defense, it’s fair to expect that he’ll have a positive impact on the IU program. He’s experienced, unselfish and understands the game.

Quotable: “Just sort of the same it was last year, just come in and try to make a difference any way possible. Not really a totally clear role, not really a goal, not really anything specific. Just come in and make a difference is my plan.” – McRoberts on his role this season at last month’s media day

PreviouslyJustin SmithClifton MooreAl Durham Jr., De’Ron Davis, Curtis JonesDevonte Green, Juwan Morgan

Filed to:

  • bball at nick’s

    I miss C&C. What happened to him?

  • He posts on the premium forum now.

  • AndyCapp

    Agreed. I see a deep rotation of maybe 9-10 players – – based on merit, in-game circumstances, etc. – – getting the vast majority of minutes and nearly equal playing time. Wouldn’t be a stretch to see a couple more getting situational spot minutes.

  • HoosierOne

    I never said you did. I was just venting on last year’s pains. A 9-10 rotation is reasonable assuming there are guys that are fairly even on performance levels. If there are standouts then we should hold off until we have a reasonable lead or put 1-2 in at a time.

  • bball at nick’s

    Although I was convinced that he’s a troll, I respected that you were giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Alex, hello. Please let him know my son received an offer from IU football. I didn’t know how else to contact him. We are elated.

  • AndyCapp

    Raise one for THAT day! 😉

  • He is now banned. In the future if someone is behaving this way in the comments, please flag the comment. Thanks.

  • bball at nick’s

    Or you can join the paid forum, lol. Maybe we both should.

  • AndyCapp

    LOL, nice

  • HoosierOne

    I agree with that point for sure. Priller was used in that fashion last year…..when guys wouldn’t play defense, set screens, hustle, etc….Priller came in and set 5 screens in one offensive procession to help the team get a bucket.

  • Ivan Renko

    fair enough, just sounded like you were addressing what i seemed to imply in your view haha

  • VOXAC30

    That game was embarrassing…… At one point a critical moment in the game we missed a layup I threw my remote on the couch and the batteries popped out. I tried to turn off the TV and couldn’t so I had to watch the IPFW center dunk on Thomas Bryant on the next play. It was awful! That may have not been the exact sequence of events but it was close!

  • AndyCapp

    Congrats to you and your son! Has he accepted?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I’m having problems keeping up with this forum!!! Don’t want to leave here.

  • HoosierOne

    I hear you…..still frustrated with TC’s rotations from last year….. Hit a few shots in a row, grab some pine. Get on a 10-0 Run, do a full line change. UGH!!!!! Just hoping for a more rational rotation this year is all. 🙂

  • VOXAC30

    Congratulations to your son! that is awesome news!

  • bball at nick’s

    You don’t have to leave. You can do both. I also noticed that you like to post during games. No better place for it than the paid forum.

  • John D Murphy

    Maybe 1.3 or something like that. 6 is way too steep for role and playing time

  • I will let him know.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    We can’t officially until February. He accepted verbally with the coaching staff. Going to Jankos Little Zagreb next Saturday after the Wisconsin game to celebrate. Thanks Andy.

  • Ivan Renko

    haha I’m totally with you! some of those decisions left hoosier nation scratching their heads more than enough

  • AndyCapp

    Unfortunately he will likely be reincarnated with another email account because I’m pretty sure we have seen him on ITH before. Good riddance for now and thanks Alex for handling this so quickly!

  • AndyCapp

    Well we’ll be talking all bball season but look forward to seeing your post in February that he has made it official. Flippin awesome!

  • bball at nick’s

    Congrats, man!

  • VOXAC30

    He has made valid points but then loses all credibility when he acts like a jerk.

  • bball at nick’s

    I generally don’t like to use the flag because I feel trolls could just as easily use it against others. For example, I called Dasstoni a troll in one of my comments, and my comment got deleted. I would have to think maybe he flagged me. But I also appreciate that you can’t monitor every comment and thus the need for flags.

  • Koko

    Congrats to you and your son.

  • AndyCapp

    Heck, 6 ppg and he would have been starting last year, and maybe one of first ones off the bench this year. If he averages 2ppg this year (on greater than 50% of his 2s) and continues his defensive excellence he will have filled quality minutes.

  • Disqus has pretty solid tools to combat this type of behavior.

  • AndyCapp

    No question on either account.

  • VOXAC30

    I’ve been talking about Freddie McSwain he is going to be our version of Larry Johnson…. Well maybe not but I’m hoping.

  • VOXAC30

    If he does see minutes it will be based on his defense and passing ability.

  • CreamandCrimson

    You rang? (thought that was appropriate given the time of year…Addams Family…pardon my “humor”) Alex let me know and I came by to say congratulations. I really think this coaching staff will do a great job with your son and you’ll be proud to be a part of their “family”. I don’t know how many games they’ll end up winning as a staff but I firmly believe Tom Allen is the right man for the job and if either my sons end up being D1 football players (highly, highly unlikely!), I’d gladly send them to Tom Allen and Noah Joseph and trust they would be taken care of and developed. I don’t mind putting this here…if you don’t mind, shoot me an email at [email protected] regarding this. This is quite an accomplishment so congratulations!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Nice to be missed! Work and life obligations have kept me from posting much on either forum but I hope all is well for everyone!

  • AndyCapp

    LOL, nice visual… almost feel like I was there sharing your angst and frustration. Def a low point last year. Don’t see any ugly surprises like that this year. We may lose some games, but I think we will win all games we are supposed to.

  • Arch Puddington

    DOH!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Thanks for that. I will be in touch. Noah will be his position coach and Tom Allen put his stamp of approval for the verbal offer. We will be there for the Wisconsin game, then to Jankos to celebrate.

  • marcusgresham

    Then he’ll be a classmate of my daughter. She’s not on any athletic scholarship but she’ll be a freshman at IU next year.
    Alex, she is a photography major though, so if you need any help…..

  • marcusgresham

    Careful, there. Joining the paid forum may be equivalent to having an IU Alumni bumper sticker on your car that affects eligibility.
    😉

  • marcusgresham

    I’d say he’s more Rick Mahorn than Larry Johnson. Gramama could score with the best of the league when he played. Mahorn was more rebounder/enforcer.

  • VOXAC30

    Rick Mahorn was one scary dude!

  • bball at nick’s

    Maybe I’ll be that donkey that got pushed around by Knight. Lol.

  • TomJameson

    That’s fantastic man, congratulations to your son, and to the whole family of course. 🙂

  • TomJameson

    Student tickets! Hoo, Hoo, Hoo, Hoosiers!

    Oh yeah, AND a fantastic IU education.

  • TomJameson

    This is exactly right. When IU needs a little spark, Zach will come in and provide the exact defensive spark needed. He may only come in for 5 minutes or so, but he will be easily recognized as the one hustling the most.

  • TomJameson

    That’s the only drawback to Zach that I can find. He’s actually a good shot, but he just doesn’t take them. He needs to regain the confidence in his shot, and start knocking down those open ones. 6 ppg isn’t too fantastic to look at … that’s only 2 shots a game.

    Of course, he’s not going to get into every game, but the ones he gets into, I can see him knocking down 2-3 shots, making some fantastic hustle plays on defense, and providing a great spark.

  • That’s awesome, congrats!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    It will be interesting as I think it will be 10 also, with Archie giving some players small windows to see if they can elevate their game.

    My best guess will be a 3 guard starting lineup of RoJo, DG, JN and JM – DD.

    I think CH could step into the lineup once fully healthy and subtract DG. CUJO, CM, FM & JS playing roles.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    My son William is contacting you now. Sorry, he didn’t have your correct address. Our bad.